As we all know, trucking is the lifeblood that drives the economic behemoth that is the goods movement system in the Golden State.
Close to 1 Million Heavy Duty trucks operate here on an annual basis, moving everything from toothpaste to tubesocks and helping many Californians maintain the lifestyle that they have become accustom to, while helping many others with day to day needs including medicine, food, supplies, baby formula and smart phone charging cables.
For years, diesel fueled heavy duty vehicles in California have had to adhere to rules and standards that The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has written and enforced. Idling limits, smoke testing, engine labels, engine rules for waste haulers, refrigerated units, drayage trucks, off road engines, on road engines, the list is long and is getting longer.
In trucking, thousands of businesses across California are required to adhere to strict in-use engine standards or face large citations that apply retroactively back to 2012. Companies both large and small, in and out of state have written some hefty checks back to the state of California for non-compliance; in 2016 alone CARB collected more than $2.7M in fines from over 16,000 field inspections.
Granted, that doesn’t cover every truck operating here, but once a non-compliant fleet operator is caught they either pay the citation and then bring the fleet in compliance over an agreed time period or CARB puts a DMV registration hold on the entire fleet. That typically gets attention.
For the rest of the folks who may be operating under the radar and out of compliance, starting in 2020, DMV will not issue registration to any non-compliant vehicle in particular weight and age categories.
Either fleets meet the standards CARB has laid out or they will not be able to register their vehicles in California, regardless if CARB has caught them or not.
Without valid registration a vehicle can be impounded and a carrier’s operating authority revoked if they are caught operating that vehicle on public roads. Although it has taken some time to get the DMV to implement registration restrictions (which technically aren’t even here yet) there are still today thousands of non-compliant vehicles operating across the state.
If these non-compliant operators get caught or find they can’t renew registration, many will more than likely leave the industry, leaving a possible capacity shortage that larger, better capitalized companies may be able to take advantage of. While no one wants to see the little guy fail, the rules have been on the books for close to 10 years and millions of dollars have been offered for replacement incentives…but now, the horse is almost all the way out of the barn and it is time to pay the piper…
The tides are turning….Stay Tuned!